Alpha channel sues Savvidis over license auction outcome

TAGS: Media, Politics

Private television channel Alpha on Thursday filed a suit against Greek-Russian entrepreneur Ivan Savvidis, accusing him of fraud, in connection with an auction for four broadcasting licenses which concluded last Friday, after a long bidding procedure which took place behind closed doors.

The TV channel and Savvidis were not among the winners of the competition. The permits went to existing channels Skai and Antenna, as well as to a company tied to shipping magnate Vangelis Marinakis, owner of Olympiakos soccer club, and to Yiannis Kalogritsas, the son of a contractor.

According to sources, Alpha’s appeal is based on allegations that Savvidis intervened to raise the price of the licenses, to the detriment of other competitors.

In a related development, a decision by a prosecutor to satisfy Alpha’s request to examine the footage of the 66-hour auction was revoked following a complaint by the state, which cited personal privacy laws.